Live Interviewing Quick Guide

Updated by Amy Thomas

Need a quick reminder on how to most effectively evaluate a live interview? These practices have been compiled by Criteria’s internal team of I/O Psychologists to maximise the validity and reliability of your evaluation. For even more guidance, be sure to check out our eBook, The Definitive Guide to Structured Interviewing.  

Best Practices

Give the candidate an overview 

Before diving into the questions, it’s a good idea to introduce yourself and give a little background on the job role and the organisation. You can also provide an overview of how the interview will be structured. For example, let the candidate know that they will be answering a series of pre-determined questions and that they’ll have time to ask their own questions after the interview has concluded. 

Use your rating scale & comments 

A five-point rating scale is one of the most reliable ways to evaluate a candidate’s responses. For each interview question, be sure you can justify your ratings by referring back to the competency being assessed. If your rubric includes a behavioural description for each point on the scale, refer to that description to make sure your rating is in line with the answer that was given.  

Rate each response in real time 

Take a few seconds to evaluate each response before moving on to the next question. Each question is likely assessing a different competency, so we don’t want a positive impression from one response to unduly influence our assessment of other unrelated factors.  

You will be able to review and finalise your evaluation after the interview has concluded too.  

Take notes 

Chances are, you aren’t going to remember exactly what you liked or disliked about every response. Take down brief notes in the comments sections on any parts of the response that stand out. By incorporating evidence from the candidate’s actual responses, this strategy will also help ensure your eventual rating is a good predictor of the candidate’s future potential.  

You can make notes in the ‘Your comment’ section for each question:

Address any candidate questions at the conclusion of the interview  

Once every pre-planned interview question has been answered and scored, you can then give the candidate a chance to ask any questions they have about the position. This is a good practice to increase candidate perceptions of a fair and welcoming process, and since you have already evaluated the interview in real time, it will not impact your overall rating of the candidate.   

Be aware of bias 

Mitigating unconscious bias is one of the most important components of a good structured interview. Follow the tips below to reduce the likelihood of a biased evaluation.  

  • When conducting remote interviews, disregard non-job-relevant factors such as video quality and the background setting. 
  • Remember that speech patterns or accents have no bearing on ability. 
  • De-emphasise superficial variables – e.g., physical/facial appearance, hobbies, birthplace, interests, sports teams, colleges, etc. 
  • If using multiple interviewers, collect feedback from each individual before they discuss the results with others.  
Avoid common rating errors 

For your evaluation to be meaningful, there should be some separation between candidates. Watch out for these common rating mistakes.

  • Halo Effect: Allowing ratings of performance in one competency to influence ratings for other competencies. 
  • Central Tendency: A tendency to rate all competencies at the middle of the rating scale (for example, giving all “3s” on a 5-point scale).  
  • Leniency: A tendency to give high ratings to all candidates, irrespective of their actual performance. 
  • Strictness: A tendency to give low ratings to all candidates, irrespective of their actual performance. 
  • Similar to Me: Giving higher than deserved ratings to candidates who appear similar to you. 

Basics of using the Interview Guide 

Things you can do with the interview guide

The goal of the interview guide is to help you facilitate the interview, rate your candidate and makes comments, and then finally make a recommendation.  The screen includes: 

  • The question that will be asked to the candidate 
  • Stars to rate the candidate’s response to the question 
  • An evaluation guide helping you to provide accurate ratings for that question 
  • A section for your comments about the candidate’s response  
  • You will also be able to make a recommendation with final comments on the candidate 

Screen setup

You can use the interview guide in your browser: 

  • On a mobile phone 
  • A tablet 
  • A laptop or desktop computer 

When conducting an interview over Microsoft Teams or Zoom, you may want to move the browser into split-screen mode so you can continue to see the candidate in the web-conference platform.  You can achieve this by moving the application windows into the appropriate place on screen, or by following these instructions for Windows or Mac.  

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